KellyRBaker | How God's Greatest Power Was in the Suffering of the Cross | by Julie Loos | Because of Jesus' great love, He embraced the cross laying down His power.

How God’s Greatest Power Was in the Suffering of the Cross

Please welcome my friend Julie Loos to the blog for the Power of God series. I love that she thrives spiritually by taking off the mask and allowing God to have His way with her life. I hope you are encouraged by her words today! ~ Kelly


As they walked along the dusty, dreary and lifeless path out of Jerusalem, the faces which had held smiles and anticipation, were now covered in sorrow and frowns. Tears could be seen streaming down the faces of a few. What a week the women had witnessed, what began as the triumph and celebration of the King was now filled with hopelessness. The man, they had followed for three years, was hanging on a cross in the distance.

As they ambled forward as though restrained, they could see this cross getting more and more close.

Flashbacks and stories were told through sobs, this was not what they expected.

Why the Torture of the Cross Displayed God’s Complete Power

Jesus had proved to them time and time again of His power. The women had seen the healings, the storms being calmed and the water turned into wine. They had heard the story of creation, how the Red Sea was parted and Noah’s flood.

In the bottom of their hearts, they knew this was their powerful Creator. Why was He doing this, why couldn’t He get Himself down off the cross?

We think it would be more powerful to get Himself off the cross, but wouldn’t it take greater power to remain and suffer through the pain and sin of all humans?

He was the Omnipotent God and He was free to do what He desired. Yet He remained; the nails only like toothpicks to the strength of the King of Kings.

The Passion of the Cross Delivered Love

Every year, my husband and I watch The Passion of the Christ around Easter. The movie is good, but I’m sure the actual event was far more awful.

The days after seeing the movie, leave me feeling sick. Seeing what Jesus went through, makes me feel guilty. Do I appreciate His gift enough? Is it moving me to live forever changed?

Many people I have talked to have said, “I can’t watch that movie, it would upset me too much.”

Isn’t that the point? Don’t we want to feel sick and awful after learning about what happened to our Lord?

God didn’t have to do this for us, He could have called down legions of angels to take Him off that cross. Musician Michael Card says, “had the soldiers not nailed Jesus to the cross, His love for us would hold Him there.”

The most powerful being in the world became man and then died on the cross to save me, even without the nails.

Let that sink in.

Jesus not only endures all this, but avoided the narcotic gall drink offered Him because Jesus wanted to be fully conscious and feel the total suffering for us.

Once Jesus dies, He experiences complete separation from God, which was the worst of His suffering according to the Bible.

The Meaning of the Cross

I don’t know about you, but God deserves more attention to what He did for us. The power He laid down so He could endure the shame, isolation and the pain to sacrifice Himself as the atonement for all of our sins.

Because of His great love, He embraced the cross laying down His power.

Isn’t this the greatest miracle ever? We don’t receive what we deserve because Jesus took our place.

To the girl who’s been abused, God sees you and loves you that much.

For the child who grew up in a damaging home, God embraces you.

The woman who believes she’s too broken, God will fix your wounds up because you are worth it. He proved you were on that despised cross.

The story doesn’t end here, Jesus used His power to roll the grave stone away and he came back to life three days later. Not only do we have all our infractions paid for, but through faith, we have His power now and an eternal home forever.

Those women, who thought Jesus was gone, their sadness turned into joy. Jesus was certainly the Omnipotent Lord.

This Easter, may we celebrate this enormous gift given to us. Let’s not gloss over the gift and sacrifice Jesus suffered for us. God’s power is such an amazing sacrifice for our eternal life.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 ESV

*This post may be found at link up parties. 

Because of His great love, He embraced the cross laying down His power. twitter


Julie Loos | Unmasking the Mess | Guest post at KellyRBaker.comJulie Loos is the mom of 5 kids and has been happily married to Greg for 17 years. She loves to read, eat chocolate, drink iced tea and spend time writing in the midst of messes. You can find her blog at www.unmaskingthemess.com

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Don’t miss the other great posts in the Power of God series:

  1. Experiencing the Miraculous Power of God
  2. Like Moses, We Can Get Used to Using God’s Power
  3. God’s Power Defies What Is False
  4. How God’s Greatest Power Was in the Suffering of the Cross
  5. A Testimony of God’s Power of Provision
  6. Prayer Is a Conduit to God’s Power

And coming soon:

  • God’s Healing Power Is for You
  • You Have God’s Power Within

 

KellyRBaker | God's Power Defies What Is False | God wasn’t just defying Egypt’s false gods, but manifesting His power, glory, and authority to all who would learn of this story from that moment in history forward. Am I allowing God to manifest His power in my life, even if it means uprooting what is “false” in it?

God’s Power Defies What Is False

God is the one true God.

Yahweh. I AM WHO I AM.

He sits on the throne. He is matchless.

Who would want to disregard Him? 

But people do, and have, like the Egyptians in the book of Exodus. They had made slaves out of God’s people.

God could have wiped the Pharaoh that refused His instructions and his Egyptian pawns off the face of the earth with a fatal pestilence (Exodus 9:15). Instead, He chose to display His power in precise ways to defy their false beliefs.

Showdown Through Power

Moses began getting used to using God’s power during the exchange He had with God at the burning bush in Exodus 3. Then he used the signs God gave to address the enslaved Israelites that God had declared now is the time of deliverance. But the real challenge of authorities ensued when the plagues began.

It makes me chuckle to read that the Egyptian magicians copied the plagues with their enchantments. When Moses turned the Nile to blood, the magicians did the same. They were trying to say, “Oh, look! We have power, too.” But how silly. The place was overrun with frogs, with the second plague. As if there weren’t enough of them, they made more frogs come (Exodus 8:7).

If they were really smart, they would have done something to make the plagues go away. But that’s just it. They couldn’t. They couldn’t even copy the subsequent plagues. They were trusting in false gods that would fail. God’s power is always greater. 

Defying the False

Not only did God’s signs to Moses subdue his incorrect, doubtful thoughts that we talked about in the previous post of this series, but it seems that each plague defied specific false gods of Egypt.

I first heard about the possibility through my kids’ Mystery of History curriculum we are currently using for our homeschool. One of the assignments for the older students is to make a chart of the plague with the verse reference, the Egyptian god, the warning given, and Pharaoh’s response. So I did it. (I’m a Bible study nerd like that.) I think I learned more by writing it all out. I wasn’t quite satisfied with the curriculum author’s broad connection between the plagues and the gods, so I did my own research.

Apparently, the gods were depicted in various forms and manifestations at times. Perhaps that is the reason the true natures of the gods were thought to be enigmatic. There were 10 plagues that seem to easily connect with the many Egyptian gods. I lined them up the best I could:

PLAGUE (verse reference)/Egyptian god

  1. Nile turns to blood (Exodus 7:14-25)/Hapi—god of annual flooding of Nile
  2. Frogs (Exodus 8:1-15)/Heqet—goddess of fertility, represented in the form of a frog
  3. Lice (Exodus 8:16-19) from dust of the earth/Geb—god of the earth
  4. Flies (Exodus 8:20-32) (Hebrew /Shu—god of the air
  5. Livestock dies (Exodus 9:1-7)/Mnevis—bull god/ Apis—a sacred bull (there are many animal gods)
  6. Sores on man and beast (Exodus 9:8-12)/Sekhmet—believed to be capable of warding off disease
  7. Hail (Exodus 9:13-35) with thunder and fire/Horus—a god of the sky/Nut—a goddess of the sky/ or possibly Neper, a god of grain or other agricultural type gods since flax and barley were destroyed.
  8. Locusts (Exodus 10:1-20)/Geb—a god of the earth/Aker—a god of the earth
  9. Darkness (Exodus 10:21-29)/Ra—the primary sun god
  10. Death of firstborn (Exodus 11:1-10; 12:29-38)/Pharaoh’s son was regarded as a future god

God’s power defied the false gods of Egypt in Pharaoh’s day. twitter

 

The Purpose of the Power

Why did God choose to deliver His people through these “great acts of judgment” (Exodus 6:6, 7:4)? After combing through these chapters, I learned God spoke to everyone’s heart for specific purposes:

  • MOSES. So that Moses would know God is the Lord (Exodus 10:1).
  • PHARAOH. God was demonstrating His power to Pharaoh, and so that Pharaoh would know that God is Lord (Exodus 7:15-17; Exodus 8:22; Exodus 9:16).
  • EGYPT. God was showing His power to all of Egypt so they would know He is God and there is none like Him in all the earth (Exodus 7:5; Exodus 9:14).
  • HEBREWS. God was showing His people that He was their God (Exodus 6:6-7).
  • ALL THE EARTH. For the fame of God’s name (Exodus 9:16).

But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth. Exodus 9:16 ESV

God wasn’t just defying Egypt’s false gods, but manifesting His power, glory, and authority to all who would learn of this story from that moment in history forward.

I’ve spent a long time studying these chapters, and it’s given me time to reflect. I’m asking the question today:

Am I allowing God to manifest His power in my life, even if it means uprooting what is “false” in it?


Don’t miss the other great posts in the Power of God series:

  1. Experiencing the Miraculous Power of God
  2. Like Moses, We Can Get Used to Using God’s Power
  3. God’s Power Defies What Is False
  4. How God’s Greatest Power Was in the Suffering of the Cross
  5. A Testimony of God’s Power of Provision
  6. Prayer Is a Conduit to God’s Power

And coming soon: 

  • God’s Healing Power Is for You
  • You Have God’s Power Within

Like this post? Pin it for later! Your friends would probably like it, too! Use the icons below to share it with them. They’ll be glad you didn’t keep it all to yourself!

Never miss a post. Thrive with others, and receive access to the exclusive library of Insider Resources!

*This post may be linked with Moments of Hope, Tell His Story, and more.

KellyRBaker | Like Moses We Can Get Used to Using God's Power | In looking at how God used Moses to deliver the Israelites from slavery, we can learn how God uses His power through His people—including you!

Like Moses We Can Get Used to Using God’s Power

Would you ever allow God to work a miracle through you? Or do you think, “That’s reserved for the Holy Rollers!” Or maybe you are a Holy Roller, but your first thought is, “The preachers are doing just fine in that arena!”

God’s miracles come in all shapes and sizes—many of which we will never see or hear about. What God does in the hearts of people alone are miracles done with His transforming power. We may only see the effects.

In looking at how God used Moses to deliver the Israelites from slavery, we can learn how God uses His power through His people—including you!

God Invites You

In the intro post of this series, I said that God led Moses to radical, unknown territory when He called him to deliver captive Israel. The Lord prefaced the call to Moses to by revealing His heart of compassion for His people (Exodus 3:7-10). He had “seen the affliction,” “heard their cry,” and “knew their sufferings.”

God wanted to reach forth His hand in deliverance, and He was going to do it through Moses. Could God have spoken to Pharaoh directly? Yes. He didn’t need Moses, but God invites His people to join in what He is doing.

When the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Exodus 3:4 ESV

Moses could have ignored the whole ordeal, but God knew He was ready for this mission. What is the Lord using to get your attention? Are you going to pause to listen?

Get Used to It

God had an agenda. He didn’t leave Moses shaking in his sandals for long before He started doing mind-blowing miracles in response to Moses’ questions of doubt (Exodus 4:1-7).

Then Moses answered, “But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, ‘The LORD did not appear to you.’” Exodus 4:1 ESV

Can you relate to Moses? Who of us hasn’t felt called by God to act when the doubtful thoughts hit? My hand is certainly raised! I have responded to God with the same uncertainty.

They won’t think I’ve heard from You. They won’t listen to me! Who am I??

God responds not with words of encouragement, but by this:

God: Hey, Moses, what’s that in your hand?

Moses: A staff.

God: Throw it down.

It becomes a snake, and Moses runs from it.

God: Pick it up by the tail.

Moses did and it returned to a staff again.

See, God will take what we are used to holding and transform it with His power as an instrument to fulfill His agenda. Moses was familiar with working with a staff, but God was showing him how to get used to God’s next level.

And perhaps, lest Moses would think that God only wanted to use the staff and not Moses himself, He next commanded him to “put his hand inside his cloak.” When Moses removed his hand, it was white and leprous. God instructed him to put it back in. When Moses did and pulled it out again, it had returned to normal.

See, God was having Moses get used to His miracle-working power because it was going to be a regular occurrence during this calling.

…see that you do before Pharaoh all the miracles that I have put in your power…Exodus 4:21 ESV

Before It Gets Better

Have you ever been obedient to God only for it to seemingly backfire in your face? Exodus 5 tells us how that happened to Moses. It must have taken some courage to follow through with obeying God the first time he stood before Pharaoh even though Aaron was with him (v14-16; 5:1). We learn that Moses lacked confidence in himself with his complaint of not being eloquent with his speech (Exodus 4:10), and begged God to send someone else (v13).

Oh, Moses, how I can relate to you!

Wouldn’t you be expecting God to follow through with His promise of deliverance (Exodus 3:17)? But that’s not what happened when they showed up. Instead, Pharaoh turned up the jerk-o-meter and required the Israelite slaves to produce their daily task without providing the materials they needed! It’s no wonder Moses turned an accusatory tongue to God. Notice the bolded:

Then Moses turned to the LORD and said, “O Lord, why have you done evil to this people? Why did you ever send me?

For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has done evil to this people, and you have not delivered your people at all.” Exodus 5:22-23 ESV

Have you ever responded this way to God? I have!

“You haven’t done what You said! Why did you send me?”

But God gave Moses a heads up that it wasn’t going to be all peaches and cream. He said He knew that the king of Egypt wouldn’t let His people go except by the force of His firm hand (3:19-20).

Now We Know

We can glean so much from this portion of Moses’ life. We have discovered how God uses His power through His people. Will you say yes to His invitation? Will you let Him begin to transform what you may already have in your hand and more for His purposes? Even if it gets worse before it gets better?

God didn’t need Moses, but He invites His people to join in what He is doing.twitter

We don’t have to be perfect, only willing. Sin and shame are powerless through the cross of Jesus.

So let’s get used to using God’s power.


Don’t miss the other great posts in the Power of God series:

  1. Experiencing the Miraculous Power of God
  2. Like Moses, We Can Get Used to Using God’s Power
  3. God’s Power Defies What Is False
  4. How God’s Greatest Power Was in the Suffering of the Cross
  5. A Testimony of God’s Power of Provision
  6. Prayer Is a Conduit to God’s Power

And coming soon:

  • God’s Healing Power Is for You
  • You Have God’s Power Within

Like this post? Pin it for later! Your friends would probably like it, too! Use the icons below to share it with them. They’ll be glad you didn’t keep it all to yourself!

Never miss a post. Thrive with others, and receive access to the exclusive library of Insider Resources!

*This post may be linked with Moments of Hope, Tell His Story, and more.